Charlie started Tuesday morning by getting dressed in his swimsuit, putting the boogie board in the back of the white car, and telling us 'no camp!'. Or rather, 'NO CAMP.'
As usual, verbal requests to remove the boogie board from the car were met with more no's; showing up to camp with a boogie board seemed like a bad portent. We thought we'd wait Charlie out.
Then I showed him the photo I'd taken last week of the camp. Charlie said 'camp,' pulled the boogie board out of the car, put it in the basement, took off his bathing suit, put on his clothes, put the bathing suit upstairs (I've been sending in a different one than he wears to the beach), got into the car.
I've been thinking that Temple Grandin's notion of 'thinking in pictures' quite applies to Charlie and, too, that the iPad, even without any special apps, has become a de facto augmentative communication device for him. A single photo can be a more effective way of telling him something that a messy mass of words. And, the iPad really just the right size for him to hold and to look at.
Another example of Charlie's very visual thinking processes: When we dropped him off, he insisted we get back into the white car and drive off: In order to have the image of us in our places in the car in his head, so he'd be able to visualize where we were until we picked him up?
Unfortunately, I had to get out of the car and go find someone from the staff as the gate out of the camp was locked. Charlie raced right over when he caught sight of me and stood with his face propped in his hands: "Mom white car. Mom white car sit."I did so as soon as I could and someone came, opened the gate, and off we drove. We waited till 1pm this time to pick Charlie up, extending his time at camp by a half-hour. He had a second good day, doing volleyball, art and swimming.
And he didn't race out quite so fast on hearing we were there.
After an afternoon of bike rides and a trip to firemen's carnival the next town over, Charlie was very ready for bed and asleep before 10 pm.
Camp is -- as Charlie is discovering -- is like school and not like school. It's all activity, much of it outdoors, none of the sitting at a table and having to 'stay on task' that he dutifully gets himself to do, and sometimes is just not into. Charlie likes APE at school and going for walks and runs and has been slowly warming up to doing art. Camp involves all that (and music too) and just that -- not a bad deal (as he's finding out).